We were visiting with the folks at MIT Admissions Office last week, figuring out a strategy for the three admissions and marketing videos they want produced. Like many clients, they wanted to understand how to best prepare for the filming days. It all basically comes down to, in their words, “filling out the matrix.”
A matrix is one accurate way to think of it – not being from MIT, though, we’ve always just referred to it as a “schedule.” Whatever you call it, the key point is that you want to be filming uninterrupted from the beginning of the day to the end. This is a slight exaggeration because a short break here and there is good, but planning well during pre-production will ensure that you get the most from out of your day.
Step One – Make an interview and b-roll list. The interviews, of course, are all the people who might effectively communicate your message, and the b-roll is all the images.
Step Two – Identify the b-roll that is “must have.” The importance of having great b-roll to help illustrate or reinforce your messages should not be underestimated. Because the times for capturing b-roll are often fixed (a certain activity only happens at a certain time), we recommend that you start by identifying the “must have” b-roll and inserting that into the schedule first.
Step Three – Schedule the interviews. There’s usually more flexibility with arranging interviews, so schedule them around the must have b-roll.
Step Four – Schedule the b-roll or interviews that are “nice to have.” Look and see what holes remain in your schedule. Is there an activity that is taking place during those times that could be useful as b-roll? Or perhaps an additional interview? Even if this material doesn’t have tremendous value immediately, it might be of use later (see: creating a video asset library).
Finally, here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you are mapping out your schedule: